Mr Sharma, a 50-year-old male shopkeeper was counting his earnings for the day when he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his chest.
He complained of shortness of breath, sweating and chest pain to his family. Worried Mr Sharma was having a heart attack, he was rushed to the hospital by his wife and daughter.
There, he was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism (PE) by Dr. Nita. She told him that neglecting the redness and swelling in his legs was the reason he almost died that night.
“What do you mean?” Mr Sharma asked her.
“You have deep vein thrombosis (DVT).” Dr Nita answered.
“But I don’t drink or smoke (too much), how did I even get this?” he asked her, confused.
“Since you sit for long hours in one place, your leg veins developed blood clots. A blood clot is a solid lump of blood. One of these clots broke free and travelled up the bloodstream to your lungs. This caused a blockage in your pulmonary arteries,” explained Dr Nita to Mr Sharma and his wife.
“How can we prevent this from happening again?” asked Mr Sharma.
“You should get up and move around every hour. If you exercise a little daily, it will boost blood circulation in your body.” She advised him.
Dr Nita also suggested the following:
“Moving around every hour, not sitting cross-legged for too long, drinking plenty of fluids, and maintaining a healthy body weight will help prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms in the future.”
Medical conditions like deep vein thrombosis are under-diagnosed but preventable. About 30% of people who experience DVT or PE are at risk to get it again. DVT occurs due to slow blood circulation, injuries to veins, chronic medical illnesses, or increased estrogen. DVT is likely to occur after age 40.
Deep vein thrombosis affects people with limited movement (due to surgeries, pregnancies) and sedentary lifestyles. We need to take care of our legs especially if we are prone to sitting or standing in one place for too long.